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The Dali Deception by Adam Maxwell
4.5 stars out of 5
When Adam Maxwell got in touch with the promise of a female-lead with ocean’s eleven vibes, he wasn’t wrong that it would be right up my street. I’d like to thank Adam for a gifted copy of this book for my honest review.
My Pitch for The Dali Deception
Five criminals. Two forgeries. And one masterpiece of a heist. Violet Winters—a professional thief-and-con-artist—has been offered the heist of a lifetime. Steal a priceless Salvador Dali from the security-obsessed chairman of the Kilchester Bank and replace it with a forgery. The challenge is what entices Violet, filling her with adrenaline; as well as providing the chance to get some revenge on her ex-lover. The fact there is one way in, one way out doesn’t frighten her. Especially as she brings together a team like no other. Allowing no chance for error, until a crime boss gets involved and Violet has more on her plate than she originally imagined.
What Adam creates in this book is a sense of something we know, and recognise. But with added charm and twists. These sort of books bring out the best within me, a curious thought-process going on throughout. I constantly wondered if Violet will enact her revenge and finish the job unscathed. It’s a tense, but fun heist-filled novel with lovable characters and a leading woman you wish you could be. The Dali Deception is British at heart and fits in perfectly with British life. From the places to the language (and even the choice swears) remind me of brilliant British gangster films I’ve grown up with. It feels refreshing to read a novel like this and be able to picture it all happening in my head. All credit to Adam for being able to do so.
When we meet our leading woman—Violet, she is unforgivably bold and full of confidence as she recounts an old job. Whoever she meets is wrapped around her finger, and wickedly talented at both talking the talk and walking it. Scorned, and betrayed from a previous job, we see how ruthless she can be. As well as how much she is willing to put on the line to complete them. She’s a fascinating and wonderful character and a credit to Adam’s writing for portraying her with so much gust. She doesn’t give off the impression she can do it alone, and I love that about her. She may be many things, but she still needs a team, and that comes off the page even without her saying as much.
The villain is someone who sparks fear, making you question if the job will be complete. He jumps from the page and matches Violet when it comes to the face-off between them both. I actually felt rather panicked for her at this point, especially with what we knew about the job previous to this one. Sparking this fear in a reader is necessary for these novels to work, but still not an easy feat, for sure. The villain’s presence, even when not in the chapter, looms, adding a thick layer of tension to an already tense moment.
My only tiny critique of the book is the pacing in the beginning—but it quickly settles before you reach a third of the way in.
Adam brings together a crew of people with unique skills, and you excitedly read wishing you were a part of this newfound family. He breathes life into whoever enters the story, and it’s one of his stand-out talents as a writer. The ending, the twists—while you come to expect something, I was surprised by one of the events. It caught me off guard, having really convinced myself that there couldn’t be another explanation. There was.
Admittedly, I was nervous when I began this. I wanted to like it, to fall into the pages and not come up for air until I was done. I more than liked it, I loved it. It was enjoyable, tense with fantastically written characters.
I thank Adam for contacting me and offering me a free copy for my honest review. You made my week.
You can find The Dali Deception on Amazon (AFF), and keep your eyes peeled for as Adam’s has a new book on its way, ‘Rockdown in Lockdown’.
If you’re a fan of The Dali Deception, look out for the Facebook group ‘The Irregulars’ which you can join to discuss more heists and the gang.